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Having lower leg problems? Ten easy muscle stretches to relieve muscle strains for seniors

senior stretching

Aging comes with unique challenges due to the weakening of body muscles. This affects mobility as your activity levels decrease. Most seniors spend a lot of time on wheelchairs or bed rest due to the low energy levels than before.

Low leg problems is a common condition that most seniors face. Your tissues are bound to lose the normal elasticity. It may cause stiff joints which may make it painful to walk. The following muscle stretches can help you relieve muscle strain.

Seated lifts

A lot of seniors develop arthritis due to the changes in the tissue which makes them lose smooth cartilage on the joints. Seated lifts allow you to enhance your motion range in your lower legs and hips. This muscle stretch is comfortable to conduct. You first need to be comfortable on a chair as you place both hands on the sides to gain support.

Ensure that your back is comfortable on the chair. Do not remain at the end of the chair since your body will not twist accordingly.  Lift your hip above the chair as you maintain that position for 20 minutes. Repeat the same for the opposite hip.

You can also cross your legs to stretch more. Do not hold your breath as you do this practice. You can make use of your hands to support your knees if you are having problems maintaining the position.

Standing quadriceps

Senior woman stretching outdoors before runningAge causes a decline in leg motion range. This stretching exercise allows you to enhance your leg and hip flexibility. Before you start the stretching, you can warm up by taking a walk or doing easy steps. The warm-up allows you to raise your body's temperature for your tissues to become elastic so that you can stretch.

You start by standing upright as you get support from a chair. Bend your knee as you hold your ankle. Pull your leg as the other hand remains supported by the chair. Remain in this position of ten seconds then repeat the same with the other leg. Do not proceed if you experience pain in your knee joint.


Senior-Fitness-Man-Warmup-backstretchYou can enhance the flexibility of your spinal cord by conducting backstretches. Age causes the curving of the thoracic spine which can affect your posture. Back stretches ensure that you enhance your bending ability so that you can reach anything above or below you.

Do this stretch by standing straight without leaning anywhere. Put your hands against your hips and let the palms go against the bottom area. Take a deep breath as you arch the spinal cord backward. Remain in that position for ten seconds before breathing out.  You can lift the ribs while extending your body backward.

Stretching the inner thighs

You can gain flexibility on your lower body part through this practice. For you to avoid muscle pulls and sore joints, you should maintain the flexibility of your legs.  This exercise enhances how you stand and walk.

Start by placing in front of where you are standing. Place your hands on the chair and separate your legs in a comfortable position. Bend your knees out on one side and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat the same at least twice. Ensure that your torso remains erect as you hold.  Use one hand to enhance your balance.

Calf stretch

Senior couple performing stretching exercise on exercise mat atMany seniors experience pain from their calf muscles. Stretching your calf increases flexibility so that you can straighten out your knee without feeling pain. You can start by standard upright as you face a wall. Put your hands on it and make a step using one of your feet.

Ensure that the other leg remains straight as you heel stays on the floor. Your hips should lean towards that wall. Remain in this position for 30 seconds then switch your legs and repeat the exercise. You can make use of a chair if you are having trouble balancing.

Soleus stretch

As the elasticity of your muscles is affected by age, it becomes hard to reach high places or bend over. The calf muscle is made up of soleus and gastrocnemius which allow your blood to be pumped into the low leg area.

Face a wall and place one foot in front of the other. You can support yourself by putting your hands on the wall. Bend the knees till you feel you are stretching as your heels remain down. Hold for a while then repeat the stretching using the opposite leg.

Ankle circle

You can relax your muscles using this activity. If your ankles are swollen, ankle circle will help.  Maintain a comfortable sitting position and cross your legs.  Straighten your leg by extending the knee as you rotate your ankle for more than 5 times.

Hip stretch

Senior couple performing stretching exercise at homeThe support of your low legs starts from the hip area. Hip side stretching provides you with balance and enhances your motion range. Start this activity by standing against a wall such that one side faces the wall. Cross your legs as you allow one side of your hip to lean on the wall.

Hold your posture for 20 seconds then change the position by doing the same using the opposite side. Ensure that your upper body remains erect as you engage your hips. Make a step as you cross your legs.

Hamstring stretch

This exercise makes it easy for you to lean forward as well as reach the feet so that you can tie shoes and wear socks. Get a comfortable surface that is firm to sit and extend your leg on the surface. Lean forward and try to reach the thigh or ankle. Maintain the position for some time and use the other leg to reach the lower body.

Ankle stretch

Unlike ankle circle, this does not involve rotating your ankle. Here, you stretch your ankles so that it is easy to bend down easily. The weakness of ankles is common in seniors due to limited mobility. Sit on the edge of a chair as you place one foot beneath the chair. Push down on it until it stretches. Ensure you straighten your ankles entirely as you stretch.


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Written by Jacob Williams

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